M. Maida, F. S. Macaluso, F. Salomone and S. Petta Pages 721 - 737 ( 17 )
NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) is an increasingly significant public health issue, regarded as the most relevant liver disease of the twenty-first century. Approximately 20%-30% of NAFLD subjects develop a NASH (Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis), a condition which can potentially evolve to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. For these reasons a proper evaluation of liver damage is a key point for diagnosis and prognosis and liver biopsy still remains the “gold standard” procedure both for discrimination between steatosis and steatohepatitis and assessment of the degree of liver fibrosis. Nonetheless, given it is an invasive, painful and costly procedure, a great research efforts have been made in order to develop non-invasive methods for the assessment of NAFLD presence and/or severity by serum markers and imaging techniques. In this review we aimed to perform a comprehensive review of the literature about strengths and weaknesses of the main tools available for the non-invasive assessment of NAFLD patients.
NAFLD, NASH, steatosis, non-invasive assessment, liver biopsy.
Section of Gastroenterology, DIBIMIS, University of Palermo, P.zza delle Cliniche 2, 90127 Palermo, Italy.